Shooting a video yourself? Here are some tips and tricks to get pro-quality video out of your iPhone. Most of these apply to Android phones as well.

  1. Use a better camera. FiLMiC Pro is a $14.99 app that turbocharges your phone’s camera capabilities. It gives you control of exposure, frame rate, aspect ratio, recording quality and a lot more.
  2. Use a soft cloth to remove smudges from the lens.
  3. Use the front-facing lens, not the selfie lens.
  4. Use a bluetooth microphone for better sound. If that’s not possible, keep the camera within 3′ of the subject.
  5. Shoot in landscape (horizontal) orientation, not portrait (vertical.)
  6. If you’re speaking on camera, let a friend hold the camera for you; don’t hold it yourself.
  7. Look into the camera lens, not at the person who’s holding  the phone. (Unless you want to appear interview-style.)
  8. Pick a quiet location with minimal background noise.
  9. Try to find an interesting setting. Avoid standing in front of a blank wall if possible.
  10. Pick a well-lit spot and do not shoot against a window or other bright background.
  11. Be aware of your surroundings and what’s in your shot. Remove anything that will be distracting.
  12. Wait a beat before talking and wait a beat when you’re done before cutting. Your editor will thank you.
  13. Smile : )
  14. When you’re finished, export the video clip(s) using AirDrop; a cloud service like DropBox; or by USB cable connected to your desktop computer. Do not email or text the clips from your phone — they will come across at low resolution.
  15. Edit the video with a simple app like iMovie. Add a little polish with fades, transitions and maybe even some music.

Here’s a video that was shot by students and then edited by the team at Allied Pixel:

I look forward to seeing your masterpiece! Good luck.

Bill Haley

P.S. Have a topic you’d like to see discussed? Let me know and I’ll try to get to it in a future post.

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